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24.10.2007 14:26

European clean sheet

Marc Guillén

FC Barcelona maintained their excellent defensive start to the Champions League on Tuesday as they kept another clean sheet to ensure that they have yet to concede in the competition this season.

fcblyon1_x7x.jpgFrank Rijkaard's side also maintained their unbeaten opening to Group E as they prevented Rangers from registering a single shot on target throughout the 90 minutes at Ibrox. With Carles Puyol operating on the right, while Lilian Thuram partnered Gaby Milito in the middle and Éric Abidal played on the left, the Blaugrana against showed how strong they are at the back.

Only one other

The only other side in the Champions League not to have conceded a goal yet is Premiership outfit Arsenal. The rest of the teams in the tournament have let in at least one goal.

Conceding very few goals has always been a key to success in Europe and when Barça swept to the Champions League trophy in 2006, they went through the entire season conceding just five goals. While conceding just two goals in the six group matches, they then let in two in the first knockout round against Chelsea, kept clean sheets int he games against Benfica and Milan and only let another goal during the final in Paris.

A quiet night

santander12.jpgVíctor Valdés had a quiet evening on the pitch in Ibrox on Tuesday as he was not called upon to make one save. Against Lyon in the first Champions League match he only had one stop to make, but against VfB Stuttgart he showed how good he can be by repelling the German side with seven saves.

The Catalan custodian's best stops in the Daimler-Gottlien earlier this month came when the scoreline was still goalless and Mario Gomez had two chances to make the breakthrough, only to be denied on both occasions.
European clean sheet
Ever present
Éric Abidal is the only defender to have played every minute for FC Barcelona in the Champions League this season. The French full-back has played alongside Carles Puyol, Lilian Thuram, Gaby Milito, Gianluca Zambrotta and Oleguer during the three games so far.

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